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Cox Customers May Have Trouble Calling 9-1-1

UPDATE (6:15 p.m.): Service has been fully restored for all Cox customers. 

If you have Cox phone service you may experience trouble contacting 9-1-1.  All Fairfax County 9-1-1 functions are in service.

Please use a wireless phone to reach 9-1-1 if you experience trouble.  Text-to-9-1-1 is also available.

The cause of the issue is a Cox Communications service interruption near the area of Georgetown Pike and Bellview Road. There is not an estimated time of repair at this time.

4 Things To Know About All This Rain

Posted at 10:50 a.m.

We are on our third straight day of heavy rains in the county and it’s not letting up any time soon. Here are four things you should know.

1.) Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a Flash Flood Watch in effect from noon today through tomorrow morning, although it may be extended.

A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible Flood Warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

Flood Watch

According to the NWS, there is a possibility of 1 to 3 inches of rain today and an additional 3 to 5 inches on Tuesday. There is also a chance of thunderstorms, which could bring wind gusts of up to 40 to 50 mph.

Please keep children away from creeks and streams as the water may rise quickly.

2.) Turn Around, Don’t Drown

Flooding is one of the leading causes of weather-related fatalities in the U.S. On average, flooding claims nearly 90 lives each year. More than half of these deaths occur in motor vehicles when people attempt to drive through flooded roadways. This happens because people underestimate the force and power of water, especially when it is moving.

  • Just 6 inches of fast-moving water can knock over and carry off an adult.
  • 12 inches of water can float a small car. If that water is moving, it can carry that car away.
  • 18 to 24 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs.

It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters.

Our Fire and Rescue Department has already been responding to calls about stranded motorists.

Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway, or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around Don’t Drown.

3.) Watch for Downed Trees

The combination of wet soil and potentially heavy wind gusts could cause trees to uproot and fall over. Here are some tips to keep in mind.

If a Tree Hits Your Home

  1. Get everyone safely out of your house. Use your cellphone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
  2. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
  3. Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
  4. Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.

For downed trees:

  • Adjacent to Public Roads: Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
  • On County Parkland: Contact Fairfax County Park Authority at 703-324-8594, TTY 703-324-3988.
  • Posing Hazard to Public Areas: Contact Fairfax County Urban Forestry at 703-324-1770, TTY 703-324-1877.
  • On Private Property: Removal is the property owner’s responsibility.

A comprehensive list of who to contact is available online.

4.) Prepare for Power Outages

As the storm continues, you may well find yourself without power. Be prepared and know what to do before your power goes out.

Plan Ahead

  • Keep your digital devices charged!
  • Back up critical files on your computer.
  • Unplug electrical equipment. Spikes and surges could occur as power is restored, damaging equipment.
  • Make sure that your emergency supply kit can be found easily if the lights go out.
  • If you use well water, pre-plan by filling a bathtub with water for use with sanitation, etc.

If Your Power Goes Out

  • Report your outage! Never assume a neighbor has reported it.
    • Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; view outage map
    • Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative (NOVEC): 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711; view outage reports
  • Use a flashlight or battery-powered lantern for emergency lighting. Never use candles.
  • Unplug electrical equipment until a steady power supply returns.
  • If you have a police, fire or medical emergency, call or text 9-1-1. For non-emergency needs, call 703-691-2131.

Wireless Cell Service May Be Impacted

Fairfax County has received several reports that wireless cell service has been impacted in certain Northern Virginia areas due to cell tower equipment damaged by the high winds.

Some areas of impact are likely in the Springfield and Burke neighborhoods. Other areas in Northern Virginia might also be affected.

Please do not call 9-1-1 to test your cellular phone service. You may wish to make a test call to a friend or neighbor to test your cell phone service.

If your cell phone service is affected, check with a neighbor for alternative means to reach 9-1-1 by cell phone or use a traditional landline phone to call 9-1-1 for an emergency.

The Fairfax County 9-1-1 center is open and ready to receive emergency phone calls and/ or texts to 9-1-1.

The cellular carriers are making repairs where possible but the ongoing high winds makes climbing cell towers a safety hazard for repair workers.

How To Dispose of Your Yard Debris

Posted at 9:15 a.m.

Cleanup is underway in our neighborhoods and communities. There are several options available for managing debris generated from the wind storm:

  1. All refuse collection companies operating in Fairfax County must collect brush placed at their customers’ curbsides as long as the brush is in bundles of less than 4 feet in length, weighing less than 50 pounds and no piece is larger than 6 inches in diameter.
  2. For larger amounts of brush or bulk debris, you should contact your trash collection service provider for information about special collections and set-out instructions.
  3. You may also self-haul large amounts of brush or bulk debris to the county’s recycling and disposal centers at the I-66 Transfer Station or the I-95 Landfill Complex where it can be disposed of for a fee. Be aware that there are fees for brush and tree debris.
  4. View complete details on tree and debris removal.
  5. Get more information on avoiding tree-trimming scams.

 

Food Safety During a Power Outage

Posted at 8:50 a.m.

This wind storm has knocked out power to more than 100,000 customers so far. If you are one of those who are affected, it’s important that you take steps to prevent illness from unsafe food and water.

The easiest thing to remember is When in doubt, throw it out!” And here are some other tips to keep in mind:

Refrigerated Food

  • Food should be safe as long as power is out no more than 4 hours.
  • Keep the door closed as much as possible.
  • Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and leftovers) that have been above 40 °F for over 2 hours.
  • Never taste food to determine its safety. You can’t rely on appearance or odor to determine whether food is safe.
  • Always discard any items in the refrigerator that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  • Use this chart to determine if individual food items should be kept or thrown out.

Frozen Food

  • Thawed or partially thawed food in the freezer may be safely refrozen if it still contains ice crystals.
  • If you keep an appliance thermometer in your freezer, it’s easy to tell whether food is safe. If it reads 40 °F or below, the food is safe and can be refrozen.
  • Partial thawing and refreezing may affect the quality of some food, but the food will be safe to eat.
  • Always discard any items in the freezer that have come into contact with raw meat juices.
  • Use this chart to determine if individual food items should be kept or thrown out.

More Information

food safety graphic